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Re: Focus group

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  • Richard Hamel-Smith
    Just came back from a focus group, something Dev Teelucksingh invited me to. Basically, every couple of years the government likes to keep in touch with the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2005
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      Just came back from a focus group, something Dev Teelucksingh invited me
      to. Basically, every couple of years the government likes to keep in
      touch with the disenfranchised computer users of TT to make sure that
      their policies are doing and continue to do everything to ensure the
      failure of ICT and ecommerce in our fair country.

      So this was yet another session, like Fastforward and the Ecommerce
      thingy before them, so the government can trot out the results to show
      off that it has its finger on the pulse of things. Of course, knowing
      what's needed, is different to doing something about it.

      If the government were really interested in doing something positive to
      help ecommerce in T&T, it would work on removing the real barriers.
      Stuff like lower rates to connect to the internet. Something like free
      dialup access to ALL. Dialup being almost as good as no being connected
      at all, it should cost the same.

      Stuff like MAKING the banks play ball with regard to online payments. Or
      possibly actually introducing microcredit loans to small online
      entreprenuers. Or setting up a local authentication authority backed by
      the government itself. I don't know, anybody else had any good ideas?

      I mean, it's not hard to find people who are doing the right thing.
      Everybody knows Korea is the most connected people on the planet. Invite
      someone from the gov't of Korea to come tell us how to do it. Or
      Estonia, for crying out loud. In Estonia, I hear, decisions made in
      parliament are online in fifteen minutes. Every farmers can sell his
      crop online. These are countries which don't have oil and gases spurting
      out of the ground.

      I mean, come on people. Does the government really need somebody to tell
      them what to do? Who's the idiot who came up with Eteck? The tech park
      of the future, out in the bush, with only one road to it. Can you
      imagine the traffic jams when all the techies in Trinidad are trying to
      get to work in the morning? What are they going to do, land a C130 on
      the airstrip? It all looks so good on paper. But we all know it's not
      going to work.

      Why can't the government do the simple things?
      Fix Customs.
      Fix the port.
      Get the banks to play ball.
      Get TSTT to drop internet rates to zero.
      Wire ALL the schools NOW, for FREE.
      Force TSTT to start distributing the AMD PIC to schools, NGOs, anyone
      basically who can't afford a computer.
      Computerise all the ministries now. Regional corporations too.
      Enforce software copyrights and in so doing, provide legal protection to
      a local software development industry.

      Why can't the government which basically owns half of TSTT, determine
      the policies of this company? I never got that. They're shareholders,
      right? Majority shareholders. No, they basically have shrugged off the
      responsibility onto TATT, or something. I can never understand it all.
      Somebody smarter than me, explain this.

      So, we had another focus group, workshop, whatever. Well, the sweet
      bread was excellent. But you better act now, coz it seems like govt is
      spending less and less money on this kind of thing. It was a small room,
      not the Hilton like with Fastforward.

      Talking about Fastforward, to show you how things are getting cut back,
      even the CD they gave out at the end was cut down. The smallest CD I've
      ever seen. It has one file on it "Fast Forward - T&T's National ICT
      Strategy - Full Report.pdf". That's all.

      You think they could have at least included the Bahrain match as an avi
      file.

      Richard
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